Three members of a New York family were taken into custody after authorities accused them of operating an international cocaine trafficking ring out of their pizza restaurant. The immigrant family members, who were originally from Calabria, Italy, ran a successful pizza restaurant in Queens called Cucino a Modo Mio. The father, mother and son were all held without bail after they were detained for drug charges on March 11.
According to investigators in the United States and Italy, the pizza restaurant in Queens was the command center for a cocaine trafficking ring that spanned three different continents. Cocaine was allegedly purchased in Costa Rica, stored in Delaware and Pennsylvania and then shipped to Italy and countries in northern Europe where it was sold.
Investigators say that the alleged cocaine trafficking ring is part of the ‘Ndrangheta, a southern Italian crime syndicate that relies only on members with blood or marriage ties. However, a lawyer for the accused man in Queens has claimed that his client is innocent and that the case against him is weak. When the restaurant was raided, investigators found several weapons and $100,000 in cash. In late 2014, 60 kilos of cocaine allegedly linked to the criminal organization was seized from ports in two U.S. cities.
A person who is facing charges after being accused of being involved with a drug trafficking organization may want to have representation from an attorney. A criminal defense attorney may be able to help the accused individual to disprove any alleged connections to a larger operation.
Source: ABC 30, “Police: United States-Italy drug ring run out of Queens trattoria,” Frances D’Emilio, May 8, 2015